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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:28AM Deadalon said

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@(Unverified)

I agree with you. I think the day that players realise that the virtual world is controlled by devs - not palyers -they will find it impossible to recapture the orginal feeling.

Sadly - Devs love to play gods. Bossy, limiting and arrogant ones. Usually takes care of every MMO over time.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:30AM Phone Guy said

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I cut my teeth on EQ like a lot of people. I do have fond memories of EQ but i also remember the things that made me hate the game. Insane Death Penalties like Gear, XP, and Level loss. Not to mention Spawn Camps, waiting in line for 4 hours to kill 1 spawn needed for some obscure quest.

I played Darkfall for a while and go back every few months when they do some updates. To me it has allot of potential. Overall though the biggest drawback to the game in my opinion is the PvP. I know Open World PvP is a major selling point, but at the end of the day all it created is an environment where people Macro Grind Skills and exploit till they are high enough to run around and kill weaker players. While I like the the feeling of danger its a turn off to be killed by someone in 2 hits and have them take my rank 0 armor, weapons, and gold. I never complain I start over like always and watch it happen again.

I do think we look at our first with rose tinted glasses. Will a game ever give the same sense of wonderment like our first? Probably not. However I think we will find games that can be fun and prove to provide a depth of experience that may be lacking. Who knows maybe the future of MMORPGs is the return to a more simplistic MPCRPG roots.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:48AM Drawde said

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While a lot of people here have a good idea of what is missing from the genre, however I feel a lot of people are overlooking the true problem. People are no longer truly invested in there characters and their own reputation in the community. If there were to reintroduce death penalties to xp, extremely time consuming leveling, and completely remove name changes and server transfers. This will force people to be attached to their character and it will reinforce the sense of community. I actually think a bazaar system is superior to a auction house.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 11:50AM Saker said

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Make a -World-, and not a Game, that approach is needful!

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:13PM starchildren3317 said

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I wont pretend to be speaking for the masses but here is my 2 cents:

1. Certainly there is the magic of something new. For me it was also EQ1. This was my first MMO experience and it blew my mind - a 3D version of my favorite table top gaming - brilliant!

2. Probably as important as the first - the sense of danger, exploration, and difficulty has been removed.

With EQ1 you got a group together and went to some location, perhaps a dungeon, perhaps and outside area, and primarily leveled by the slaughtering of hundreds and thousands of monsters. Now you do so by wondering off by yourself and doing quest after quest. Both are a type of grind so I don't really want to get into that discussion but my issue with the latter is that it takes the 'multiplayer' out of the mmo. I don't want to enter an MMO and solo the entire game until level cap and then start forming groups to do raids/dungeon content.

In addition, I find the nature of current quest leveling rather boring and uninspired. You start off in this quest hub, then move to this quest hub, then over here to this quest hub, ect, ect. and everyone follows the same path. Where is the excitement in that? I enjoyed that in EQ1 I could go off and level in many different areas of the world for my level. It wasn't a straight and narrow path that I was forced to take.

The difficulty of current MMOs bothers me as well. but that is for another day.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:23PM cyranal said

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Like many of you, I too have thought about this and have pointed to this very issue as to why I am currently not playing an MMO right now. That "first experience" cannot be recaptured because it WAS your first experience. Even though I had been playing online from a very young age through BBS door games (LotRD

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:27PM cyranal said

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@cyranal

That's interesting. The bulk of my post didn't even make it through. Ah well, too tired to rewrite the darn things. I agree with people, blah blah blah, hope things get better, blah blah blah, and can't wait for VR MMOS, yadda yadda yadda. :)
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 12:27PM Azzura said

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Making an MMO that fits everyone then dumbed everything down and made content easy has ruined MMOs.

If they were to bring the old days back with inventory loss on death, disposable armor, then it could be fun - but imagine the whining!

First thing they need to get rid of is better and better armor - nothing bursts your bubble more than spending months to gets something only to have it easily replaced with 1 little expansion to make your time feel useless.

Second, if you die, dont make it easy to get back on your feet. XP loss is a bad thing. But making people go get their stuff off their dead corpse is like a quest in itself, and can be challenging (Thus the reason for disposable armor.

Third, make crafting worth while. Why have crafting if 90% of the items are useless leveling crap? And why make the drops some much better than craftables? Also back to disposable armor and weapons, if you have this type of system, crafting is a fun and useful part of the game. If I cant get my stuff back, I go buy a fresh set at a price that doesnt hurt my wallet. Also dont let everyone be able to do it. If you want to be a full blown crafter then you are going to be a very poor fighter. Also make it hard to hit top level.

Fouth, Quests. Do NOT show people where it is, no X, no arrow, no proximity circle. Give them clues, give them general direction, or a town near by, and a name of an NPC. No more hand holding easy button quests.

Fifth, PvP. I do not like games where there is open PvP and gangs run around and just mow you over. I think Open PvP is a great additional risk part of a game that adds danger but it need to be controlled. There needs to be serious penalties for killing someone. I'm thinking UO style Murder System, when if you kill someone, you can no longer use towns and anyone can kill you without restrictions.

Housing is another thing that is lacking in many of today's games. I'd like to see more skill based systems too, drop the level grind!

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:10PM EndDream said

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My first MMO was UO. I played it for years and loved every minute of it. I have been chasing the virtual dragon ever since and although I had fun in Guild Wars/WoW and others it has never even been close to the same.

Archeage Online looks like my best hope for the future as its goal is to be a so called vitual world and it has the talent and money to back it up. Unlike the low quality indie games that are supposed to be sandboxes.

However, even if the game is as good as UO or even better I worry. I'm not 14 years old anymore and I cant play 60 hours a week anymore. Was that part of what made the game amazing?

As others have said we hate the dungeon finder in WoW because of the community it creates and how it makes us feel like Orgrimmar is simply a virtual room to queue in. But when I get off work it sure was convenient...

what do we do?

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:12PM (Unverified) said

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Interesting topic. I'm an older player (50) who has been playing MMOs for middlin' amount of time (started right after Shrouded Isles was released for Dark Age of Camelot, in late 2002 - played multiplayer Diablo II/LOD before that). I spend a lot of time wondering where the magic has gone. Because I'm a list-maker by nature, I've tried to reduce it to that.

1. No sense of wonder. Fact is, every time I unwrap a new MMO now, and you all know this is true after your FIRST one, I'm making comparisons. "Okay, so THIS is just like THAT quest in the other game. Alright, so THIS skill is the same as THAT skill... Ohhh, I see, THIS is THEIR version of THAT game's ." Nothing will ever be completely new again, after your first MMO. Even with different settings, vastly different worlds, etc., there are some extremely basic, fundamental things that will be the same in any MMO.

2. The friends are gone. When you started playing your first MMO, you met some people. They helped you learn the ropes. They adventured beside you, conquered with you, died trying to save you (or you trying to save them). As time rolled on, they moved on. It's the nature of things. Or maybe it was you that left. Whichever was the case, once the original band breaks up, things never quite sound the same again. (Sometimes, THIS magic can strike again, though. I've been plugged in to three great guilds/groups of friends in my MMO time, and in each case things have become a lot more fun. But it's like divorce and remarriage. It takes some effort to get yourself invested in a new relationship and after a while you become Crazy Cat Dude who lives alone with 57 cats and eats their food.)

3. Negative atmosphere. You WANT to like this new game, it SEEMS like a great game, and you're really starting to get into it. But you're surrounded in game and on the forums with jaded "MMO Vets" who've powered to max level within 14 days of launch and are PISSED OFF that there's not more end game content, and this is too F'ING EASY, and who's the NOOB that designed this STUPID GAME anyway, etc., etc. You find yourself longing, even BEGGING for a game where you can play it alongside other people who really WANT to be there, also. They're not just waiting for the Holy Grail (that'd be GW2 or SWTOR, depending on which kool-aid they're drinking). We have too many choices, frankly. So many MMOs competing for players, it's constantly comparison shopping, constantly picking things apart. Back in 2002, people played UO, EQ, or DAoC. I'm sure there might have been others, but those three were the ones with significant populations. We played MMOs because we LIKED MMOs, and we didn't have the fringe players who were bored with Halo 3 and wanted their MMO to be an FPS.

Anyway, sorry that's long. Like I said, I spend a LOT of time thinking about this.

tl;dr You can ALMOST never go back, recapturing the magic of your first MMO is nearly impossible.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:17PM paragonbliss said

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Cazel :D
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:43PM Dblade said

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You can't. This is why I'm hanging it up for good.

Even if you could make a world like the old days, you can't also make me 18 like the old days. Change happens to us as well as the genre. It's been fun playing, but sometimes if you can't find wonder in MMOs, it may be time to find wonder in other things.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 1:55PM LizardSF said

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You can't lost your virginity twice. Period.

And to the guy who said "remove zoning".... uhm, did you PLAY EQ1? It was/is a massive zonefest... practically every 10 steps, the screen froze, and then you waited, and then you'd be in the next zone... if you weren't disconnected. Remember "train to zone"??? That was because monsters didn't cross zone lines -- every part of the world had magic walls that let players through and kept monsters out.

And also... EQ1 was about interacting with players and not NPCs? Weird, I remember spending a LOT of time playing "guess the word" with the NPCs. "Tell me about the orcs." "Tell me about the northern orcs." "What about the orcs?" "Do you want me to kill the orcs?" (Back in '99, there weren't no fancy Allakhazam to look stuff up on, gosh darn it... or, at least, no one told me about it. Get offa my intertubes, you punk kids! Where was I, again?)

Oh yeah. You will never get the magic back, whether you started with Everquest, WoW, DikuMUD, Island of Kesmai, or rolling D20s on the kitchen table. It's a physiological fact of the reward/response mechanism in your brain's neural wiring. Deal with it.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:14PM Borick said

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@LizardSF You will never get the magic back, whether you started with Everquest, WoW, DikuMUD, Island of Kesmai, or rolling D20s on the kitchen table. It's a physiological fact of the reward/response mechanism in your brain's neural wiring. Deal with it.

I can't disagree more. Perhaps I just never grew up.

MUSH roleplay gave me greater immersion than tabletop roleplay. EverQuest gave the fantasy world some substance and WoW took the whole thing and made it mainstream. At every point more than thirty years of gaming I have never become jaded with the idea of social sandbox play.

If you don't see virginity as something to 'lose', you need never lose it.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:20PM LizardSF said

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I didn't say you'd become jaded... I'm still playing tabletop RPGs and MMOs, and, too, have been doing it for over 30 years... started in 1978. (First "MMO" was Islands of Kesmai; first graphical MMO was the original Neverwinter on AOL) But nothing can recreate that feeling of total newness and discovery and the idea of a vast new world spreading out before you, because your brain has already built the structures it needs and all you're doing is adding in another instance, more specialized subclasses that build on what's already there.

Absolutely, though, the only thing that will give you the "new and fresh" feeling is something which is, in fact, "new and fresh" -- not trying to recreate the past as seen through a cracked and rose-colored mirror. "Going back to the way it was" in order to recapture that "old feeling" is about as stupid an idea as I can imagine.

(PS: I'm aware 'losing your virginity' is probably a poor metaphor to use in the MMO crowd, but it was the first to come to mind...)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:26PM Marked said

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I read through most of the posts. To me, too many people are blaming the developers, the games, technology, and/or the community as the reason they can't get back the "first love" feeling. That somehow if/when the perfect game is released they'll get back that original sense of wonder.

I'm here to almost guarantee that'll never happen. There are obviously going to be games you will enjoy more than others. There are obvious things you can do to improve that level of enjoyment. But the biggest reason most of us have fond memories of our first real MMO experience is just that: because it was the first.

I don't think it necessarily has to be a bad thing either. I'm REALLY looking forward to Old Republic release. However, I'm very consciously being careful of two things:
1) I'm being careful of how much pre-release info I take in. I already know I'm going to buy it/subscribe and a big part of my fond memories are based around exploring and "holy crap, that was cool" or "didn't see that coming" or "wow, come look at this." Knowing too much can be a curse.
2) My other big problem in MMOs is I tend to get in a leveling race with friends, or I end up trying to min/max a character too soon. And while neither of those are necessarily "bad" I do know they both cut into my personal level of enjoyment. Especially your first play-through. This is something huge for me with Bioware because I KNOW I have a tenancy to always pick a certain dialog choice (light/dark, renegade/paragon, etc) regardless of the actual "choice." Simply because that choice is min/maxing my char.

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:29PM Space Cobra said

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Great comments so far.

But some, like Jef and Saker, I am wondering. They (and others) have said that the "virtual world" is needed, not just the game; Just wondering what that entails.

If I am interpreting it right, for me, it is much more than that. Of course, making a memorable world is a great part of it, but there are other aspects. Of course, we can "never go back" to our first MMO, so what do we do with new MMOs and will they be "wonderful" if you've played on them for a year or so? Will they keep being "wonderful" in the future? This is a hard task.

I don't think it is only the world that needs such, but also the place/workings of it. Not just the games, but the new paradigm. You know, as scary as "Second Life" may be (at least, for me! :p ), I never tried it, but I think it would be a nice road map. Granted, you need some sort of structure and it needs to be more "encompassing". Creating an online community, perhaps with different worlds and options, may be the way to go. It is not just Facebook integration but beyond that. People get sucked into the internet, so just make a virtual world that serves as such a gateway, with some possible games and such? This could be a closed system or an open one (but, I don't recommend and open one). It's hard to detail such a world and I know some similar efforts have been made, but I am saying one or two steps beyond.

Of course, even such a thing will turn "common", but by then, we may be into our VR glasses or VR pods!

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:58PM Borick said

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@Space Cobra

I think player-ownership is a big part of the solution. I am no longer interested in "You're in OUR world now".

I want MY farm. MY castle. MY story.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2011 2:48PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)

"Flashier graphics, different ways to mix and match talents, and unrealistic "robot" mobs have been done to death"

I honestly would love to see some more "smarter" mobs, not just those that attack the guy with the most hate. It's gotten to the point in most of the games I've played where Zerg strategies are the way to go. Not saying that that's bad, just not my cup o' tea.

More on topic, if I start to lose the wonder with my MMO of choice at the moment, I'll set it aside for awhile and play some others or some single-player games. Maybe find one the wife and I enjoy together. I will also try to come up with challenges for myself and some friends if I don't want to leave. (i.e.: FFXI BCNM's with odd jobs. Almost never won, but still had a blast trying to come up with a strategy that would work.)

Posted: Apr 25th 2011 3:26PM Wisdomandlore said

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I'm hoping Guild Wars 2 can do it. By putting the focus on interacting with the world and cooperating with other players to complete goals, rather than grinding the world and competing against other players, hopefully it will restore the sense of adventure and community games lack these days.

Not necessarily on topic, but I tried to play the original EQ this weekend. I had never tried it before (my first MMO was FFXI). The graphics weren't terrible, but as soon as I started it up, I was assaulted by one million menus (literally menus on top of menus), none of which told me information I wanted to know, like what my spells did. After fumbling around with NPC interaction, inventory, spellbooks, and combat for 10 minutes, I just gave up. Sometimes nostalgia isn't worth it.

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